Mobile governance launched in Himachal Pradesh

      The Government of Himachal Pradesh has taken the initiave to provide a range of government-related services and informations to the public through the mobile network which is one of the easiest and quickest forms of governance. B K Agarwal, Principal Secreatary (Information Technology), informed mediapersons that the mobile governance scheme has been launched in Shimla, Solan and Hamirpur Districts. This is largely being used as a two-way communication services channel between the government and citizens which enables the people to use their mobile phones to get information relating to various departments and added that in the initial stage information on driving licence, arms licence, birth certificates, vehicle registration etc are being provided free of cost to the general public on their mobiles, he added. He revealed that under the scheme the general public would be requested to mention their mobile number on the applications submitted to various departments and concerned department informs the citizens about the status of their pending work through SMS and to send an SMS to the concerned persons when their work is done. He said that the IT Mission has identified around 20 services from eight government departments which it believes can be covered by the M-governance project. These are irrigation and public health, agriculture, horticulture, state electricity board, state transport corporations,forest and education. Agarwal said all secreataries, head of departments, deputy commissioners have been asked to implement this scheme. Agarwal said Himachal Pradesh has the distinction of having the highest teledensity in the country with urban areas have registered around 90 percent teledensity which is highly benificial for success of M -governance in the state. He revealed that Spice Digital Limited has been selected as the service provider for the SMS Gateway Services. He said that in order to utilize the facility, letters have been issued to all the Deputy Commissioners, all Secretaries to the Government of Himachal Pradesh and all Head of Departments in Himachal Pradesh. He concluded by saying that Himachal Pradesh will be M-Governance compliant by the end of 2009.

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